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01/10/2000 08:48 PM


Hackers enter corporate loop Renowned code-crackers join button-down security firm By Paul Davidson, USA TODAY

With concern over computer viruses and electronic terrorism high, Silicon Valley has decided to fight hackers with hackers.

A renowned group of Boston-area hackers known as L0pht has been acquired by a computer security startup firm called @Stake backed by $10 million in venture capital.

The marriage melds top executives of such button-down firms as Compaq Computer and Forrester Research with eight young long-hairs with names like Mudge, Space Rogue and Dildog.

"Is this a weird mix that raises cultural challenges? Sure," says Ted Julian, an @Stake vice president who used to be a lead analyst at Forrester. But "they're the best."

The Justice Department and Securities & Exchange Commission have hired L0Pht as consultants. The self-described consumer advocates told the Senate last year that they could shut down the Internet in 30 minutes. L0pht members describe themselves as "gray hats," on the edge between good and evil hackers. Besides selling security software, they broke into corporate systems and alerted the firms to weaknesses.

They also put warnings on the Web that gave malicious hackers enough information to duplicate their feats. "We tried to educate people," says Mudge, L0pht's former chief and @Stake's vice president of research. But technology analyst Howard Rubin says, "That's like publicizing the blueprint for burglar alarms in banks."

@Stake, based in Cambridge, Mass., will sell security services to bolster corporate firewalls, ward off viruses and protect credit-card and other electronic commerce data. John Rando, a former senior vice president at Compaq, will be chairman. The company bills itself as the first "pure play" Web security consultant, beholden to no software maker or ancillary service.

Mudge says L0pht made the move because "we didn't have the management expertise or business savvy to handle all the people coming to us." Says Rubin, "The question is whether hackers and technical experts can also supply the leadership" a startup needs.


01/11/2000 10:42 PM

[: hacktivism :]

It is inevitable that people like members of L0pht H.I. are going to try and make a living out of their skills sooner or later and it's certainly better they do so on their own feet rather than as army recruits or corporate hackers (see this shot I took at London's Waterloo International train terminal http://www.idrive.com/xdaydreamx/web/ibm.htm . Considering that it is a ca. 30m x 8m canvass in prime location IBM must feel like they have something important to say). The question for all those of us who fear it could be "defection to the other side" is: What are they going to do? If we are to expect another hacker-hunting firm we should be very alarmed. However, if these people can bring some sense into top corp. network policy they may be better for the image ofthe hacker than a thousand "oyster clam" hacks (see current hacks on 2600).


> > [: hacktivism :] > > HACKER GROUP GOES MAINSTREAM > > Members of the Boston hacker group, L0pht Heavy Industries, have gone > > corporate with the founding of their computer security consulting firm, > > AtStake. They report having $10 million in funding from venture > > capitalists. The group's members, who are described as some of the > > country's top hackers, are known by colorful monikers such as "Space > > Rogue," "Dildog," and "Mudge." The new company also includes mainstream > > industry executives, including John Rando, a former senior VP at Compaq, > > and Daniel Geer, a well-known security > > expert. (AP/St. Petersburg Times 7 Jan 2000) > > http://www.sptimes.com/

> > [: hacktivism :] > > [: for unsubscribe instructions or list info consult the list FAQ :] > > [: http://hacktivism.tao.ca/ :]

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